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Antony A Better Leader Than Caesar In Shakespeare's Antony And Cleopatra:

1078 words - 4 pages

Antony a better Leader than Caesar in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra:

In Shakespeare?s play 'Antony and Cleopatra' Caesar, while he displays remarkable tactical skills, is calculating and cold hearted. Antony on the other hand embodies many admirable qualities and emotions which make him the greater of the two. Firstly I will look at Caesar?s military victories before examining Antony?s great human qualities.

Looking at Caesar, he is highly successful in his military battles due to his great organisation skills and strategic planning. Caesar values organisation since he receives hourly reports on how matters are abroad (Act I Scene 4 lines 34-36) and keeps detailed accounts of his battles. His logical thought also makes him so successful:
?Strike not by land, keep whole, provoke not battle,
Till we have done at sea? (Act III Scene 8 lines 3-4)
This strategic plan allows Caesar to defeat Antony. Duty is of unmatched importance to Caesar. Caesar condemns Antony for seeking pleasure before duty and he says of himself:
?Doubt not, sir,
I knew it for my bond? (Act I Scene 4 lines 84-85)
So the basis of Caesar?s abundant military victories, also against Antony, are his logical tactics and his sense of duty.

However, Caesar is so determined to succeed and so power hungry that he is willing to hurt and manipulate other people in order to be successful. Caesar is calculating in that he uses Lepidus to defeat Pompey yet then sees to it that Lepdius is deposed as a triumvir so that he can gain more power. Another example of Caesar?s deviousness is:
? Plant those that have revolted in the van,
That Antony may seem to spend his fury
Upon himself.? (Act IV Scene 6 lines 9-11)
Caesar intentionally places the men that have deserted Antony at the front of his army in order to humiliate Antony so that he has a psychological advantage in the battle. Caesar even uses his sister by supporting a marriage between Antony and Octavia. Judging from Caesar?s clear sightedness, this is a cunning ploy to later, as Antony deserts Octavia, have a reason to proclaim war on Antony. Therefore Caesar?s greed is so great that he deliberately hurts and takes advantage of other people to attain power.

Caesar is also arrogant and throughout the play does not show any honest emotions for another person. When Ocatvia discovers that Antony has deserted her, Caesar does not show any sympathy for her but emphasises this desertion in her presence as propaganda against Antony who is neglecting his Roman duties. At Antony?s death Caesar?s speech seems to be made out of public duty, saying what the occasion demands rather than displaying true emotions. This is clear, as he is eager to cut his speech short and attend to business. He also displays this false grief upon discovering the corpse of Cleopatra and does not forget to mention his superiority:
?and their story is
No less in pity than his glory which
Brought them to be lamented.? (Act...

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